Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2017 2018 2019 2020
Previous Archive
07 May 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Noko Masalesa
Noko Masalesa, Director of Protection Services, in conversation with students and stakeholders to plan a safe way forward.

Safety and security are human rights that constitute social justice. At the centre of the agenda at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Social Justice Week held on the Bloemfontein Campus from 17-22 April 2019 were discussions about off-campus safety. Stakeholders agreed on an upgrade to security measures in order to ensure the success and wellbeing of the student population.

A call to students

Prof John Mubangizi, Dean of the Faculty of Law, in his capacity as representative of the UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, expressed his view on institutions of higher learning no longer functioning as ivory towers. “For any initiative to succeed, collaboration is necessary between key roleplayers,” he said.

He aptly pointed out that: “We cannot underscore the importance of safety and security, not only for the university but also for the communities around us. What the university does benefits the community and vice versa. I pledge the university’s commitment to play a leading part to ensure that the collaboration works,” said Prof Mubangizi.

Beefing up security: Who is involved?

In view of the collaborative effort Prof Mubangizi alluded to, the engagement was twofold. First was the roundtable discussion facilitated by Protection Services which then escalated into a public dialogue where students had the opportunity to interact with external delegates.

The South African Police Services, Community Police Forum, Private Security, Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Provincial Commissioner, and Deputy Minister of Police were well represented in this critical conversation. Internally, members of Protection Services, Housing and Residence Affairs, Student Affairs, Institute for Social Justice and Reconciliation, Student Representative Council, and the Department of Criminology heard the plight of off-campus safety faced by students.

Changes in the horizon

The discussions culminated with recommendations which will see the future of student safety take a different direction. According to Skhululekile Luwaca, former SRC president, these include “the municipality’s commitment to immediately address issues such as street lights and enforcing by-laws, ensuring an integrated accreditation system, and drafting a policy for off-campus accommodation, running more crime awareness campaigns, and giving police patrols more visibility.”

In addition to resolving to set up a student safety forum with all the stakeholders, the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has invited the UFS to join Reclaim the City – a safety forum where practical solutions to crime are devised and implemented on a weekly basis.


News Archive

Bring back dignity to our schoolgirls
2015-03-10

A Kovsie student initiative is currently crying out to the community at large to help in realising a dream of helping school learners who come from poor families to gain confidence in their school work and social lives generally. 

 

This initiative by Nkanyezi Talk @UFS aims to do this through the provision of sanitary towels to such learners at the onset of puberty.

 

“Through research, we have established that some learners face numerous challenges during this stage, with some using socks as a substitute for sanitary towels while others opt for newspapers. This raises a lot of health and psychological concerns,” says project coordinator Bongani Zwane.

 

According to research conducted by UNICEF in 2013, one in ten girls who cannot afford sanitary towels will miss a week of schooling during the cycle of their period. This is because they fear being ridiculed by other learners, and because their dignity as girls is not being respected. This absence from school also happens because they do not understand what is happening to their bodies.

 

“What should be a celebration of womanhood becomes a time of shame and embarrassment with dire consequences for the girls’ education as well as their future,” Zwane adds.

 

“We therefore appeal to everyone to help us realise this dream of making sure that we reduce the number of schoolgirls who do not attend school during their menstruation periods, and restore their dignity by donating sanitary towels.

 

“Overall, we have already collected more than 1000 packs of sanitary towels. The office of Cornelia Faasen, our acting dean of Student Affairs, has also endorsed the campaign and already donated 600 packs of sanitary towels,” says Zwane.

 

“We have set ourselves the goal of collecting and donating 10 000 (ten thousand) sanitary towels in total.”

 

 

Methods of Donating

 

Nkanyezi Talk @UFS welcomes any physical donations of sanitary towels and financial donations through their UFS entity number 1/466/08119 only.

 

For more information on how and where to donate, please contact project coordinator Bongani Zwane at 079 237 5089 or email him to bzwane@workmail.co.za.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept